#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands — The Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services wishes to update the public on matter related to illegal migrants.
During the early morning of Sunday April 5, 2020, a vessel with forty-four (44) illegal migrants (thirty-eight (38) males and six (6) females) was intercepted by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force through the detection of the Coastal Radar. They have been taken into detention and processed by Immigration and Medical personnel and declared fit to travel.
We are extremely pleased to inform the public that permission was sought and granted yesterday to repatriate all of our detainees of the various illegal vessels. Hence, those who were caught early this morning will join the one hundred and eighty-one (181) Haitian Nationals who were held at our Detention Centers due to interception by the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Marine Branch and the Immigration Department Enforcement Unit from the various landings. All detainees were screened and cleared for repatriation as no one was displaying or complaining of any CONVID-19 symptoms as was confirmed by our Medical Team.
Today, Sunday, April 05th 2020 at about 9:00 a.m. all two hundred twenty-five (225) detainees began to be repatriated to Cap Haitian via charters on our two main airlines namely Caicos Express and Inter-Caribbean Airlines.
Hon. Vaden Williams, Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services stated: “It’s my aim to have all of our illegal detainees repatriated today. This is an expensive task but one that must be taken in order to protect the lives of our people.
“Soon you will hear of measures being put into place to protect these islands and its people. Measures such as but not limited to:- time limits on work permits; the closing down of first time work permits; enforcement operations and rids crafted to rid these island of illegal migrants”. He went on to say: “The time has come when we must ask if certain Consuls are welcome here! I have had enough of this illegal problem and vessels landings and I am sure the people as well. So note if anyone found with illegal immigrants whether at their residence, personal vehicles or place of work, shall be persecuted to the fullest extent of the law and those who are on work permits or other permits, recommendations shall be made for these status to be revoked.”
Hon. Williams further stated: “I ask you the people to remain calm and report any suspicious movement to 911. My Officers are out there and doing a great job and I say thanks to all of them. I ask our people to support them where you can, as we work together to clean our country and keep our people safe and healthy”.
In addition, the Border Control Detention Centre is the main holding facility and currently is also holding twenty-eight (28) Sri Lankan Nationals and one (1) Indian National, awaiting repatriation which has been delayed due to COVID- 19 worldwide travel restrictions.
The continued illegal vessel landings and repatriation has again costs the Turks and Caicos Islands Government in excess of US$2.5 million from the Immigration Department alone during the last Financial Year 2019/2020. This does not take into consideration the human and other agencies costs aligned with illegal migration.
The Enforcement agencies of the Turks and Caicos Islands are again asking anyone with information concerning planned and landed arrival of other vessels, poachers and any suspicious movements of persons to contact the Police anonymously on 911 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1-800-8477. Tips can be submitted anonymously in English, French or Spanish on either www.crimestoppers.tc or on Facebook as a fan of Crime Stoppers Turks & Caicos. Crime Stoppers tips are received in the USA.
The public is also reminded that it is an offence to harbour illegal persons and that persons found guilty engaging in such activities are liable to a fine of US$20,000 or a term of imprisonment of four years, or both in accordance with the Immigration Ordinance 2018 or any law. The public is also reminded that assisting illegal entry is a criminal offence and persons found engaging in such activities will receive the full extent of the law.
Through this medium the Ministry of Immigration, Citizenship, Labour and Employment Services wishes to thank all Agencies who worked alongside them to ensure this repatriation took place. This include but not limited to the Governor’s Office; Office of the Premier and Ministry of Finance; Ministry of Health and Tourism; the Airlines; Ministry of Immigration Staff; the Haitian Government and all others including the general public.
Press Release issued Sunday April 5, 2020
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Students not in school cite Fees as Roadblock
Dana Malcolm and Wilkie Arthur
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – Concerning reports are coming out of Providenciales regarding the placement of students as the new term got started.
Wilkie Arthur, Magnetic Media Court Correspondent, had the opportunity to speak with several young people who were supposed to be in school. Instead, they were hanging out close to home, as they said they couldn’t afford the fees of the private schools they had been placed in.
Edgar Howell, Director of Education, during an August 31st press conference, had indicated that at least 26 students were awaiting assistance with placement in private high schools and 35 students were awaiting placements in primary schools. Parents should have heard from the ministry within days.
“The schools are full and they don’t have any more money to continue the [private] schools they were going to. So, this bright September morning these children are actually just idle,” he explained.
By law (Education Ordinance 2009), all children between four and 16 years old in the Turks and Caicos Islands are considered of ‘Compulsory School Age’ meaning, they must be enrolled in an institution.
It has long been the practice of the Ministry of Education to place students in private schools and subsidize the fees when space has run out in public schools. This year was no different.
“The Ministry continues to provide assistance to the parents through the private school subsidy program and 375 students are being assisted for the 2023/24 school year,” Howell explained.
It’s not clear if these students were a part of that number.
We have since reached out to representatives at the Turks and Caicos Ministry of Education for information on students who are not in school, how many remain unable to fit into public school classes and what provisions are in place for those students; there has been no update.
Grand Turk residents say they suffered lack attention from TCIAA
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – Upgrades are underway at the JAGS McCartney International Airport but Grand Turk Residents say they were subject to subpar conditions for far too long; the comments came at a town hall meeting hosted by the Turks and Caicos Islands Airports Authority in the capital on Thursday September 21, at Dillon Hall.
“I am speaking on behalf of Grand Turk residents. It is unacceptable for the Airports Authority to treat residents how they do,” one resident told TCIAA executives at a town hall meeting in Grand Turk.
The airport was hit during Hurricane Fiona in late 2022, resulting in a destroyed roof and serious damage to the terminals from extensive flooding plus damage to the domestic and international arrival areas, deeming the area unfit for use.
The hurricane damage last year only exacerbated the destruction wrought by previous storms including 2008’s Hurricane Ike and 2017’s Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The JAGS McCartney International was reopened for domestic arrivals just this past June after phase one of a restoration project. The international terminal was scheduled to open soon after but repairs are still ongoing. Residents told TCIAA executives, the work was simply not executed quickly enough.
“The lack of attention that they paid to the JAGS McCartney Airport after the hurricane, having the residents of this island come in like we’re from a third world country for months? It’s unacceptable for residents of this island for you all to leave us like that,” a resident maintained.
Ongoing updates include fixing the perimeter fence and parking lot as well as the fire station. Residents appeared grateful but cautiously optimistic.
“We see the plans that you have— which is good, and we hope that the next time we have a disaster we don’t have to be waiting for months [and] be treated like that.”
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